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The cartoons highlight the disaster of multiculturalism
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, February 07, 2006

That's James Pinkerton's take:
The lesson of the Muhammad cartoon controversy is: Multiculturalism between nations is inevitable, but multiculturalism within nations is disastrous.
I've certainly come to the conclusion that the cultural relativism that is rampant in "muliticulturalism" certainly is a disaster. It creates what Mark Steyn called the "wimp state":
One day, years from now, as archaeologists sift through the ruins of an ancient civilization for clues to its downfall, they'll marvel at how easy it all was. You don't need to fly jets into skyscrapers and kill thousands of people. As a matter of fact, that's a bad strategy, because even the wimpiest state will feel obliged to respond. But if you frame the issue in terms of multicultural "sensitivity," the wimp state will bend over backward to give you everything you want — including, eventually, the keys to those skyscrapers.
One only has to consider the reaction of so-called news organizations such as CNN and NBC who refuse to show the offending cartoons out of "sensitivity to Islam" but had absolutely no problem showing various denegrations of Christian faith, such as the well known photo of a crucifix immersed in urine. I won't belabor you with further examples as they've been all over blogs in previous days.

Culturally, we are indeed a wimp state as Steyn points out. And we're giving equal status to a culture which is violent, feudal and intransigent, not to mention against just about every thing we stand for in the west. Why should we be sensitive at all about such a culture?

Pinkerton goes on:
It's time for all of us to recognize that different cultures have different values. For the West, broadly speaking, the highest value is freedom, including freedom of religious expression. But for the Muslim world, the highest value seems to be Islamic piety. To draw such a distinction between West and East is not to endorse cultural relativism; it's simply to take note of cultural reality.
But the problem is cultural relativism. And it is a one-sided and culturally destructive argument which says all cultures are equal. One should also note that the culture in question doesn't at all have the problem of denouncing western culture as inferior. In fact, the riots we're seeing is that culture demanding the culture which it sees as inferior obligate itself to acting in a manner consistent with their culture. As outlandish as that may seem, we have plenty of those in the west who feel that's the proper course.
Differences between the West and the Muslim world can be chalked up to just that - differences. That's the truth about world ethnicity, and no amount of politically correct wishful thinking will change that truth. Countries that ignore that basic lesson of history and political science put themselves at grave risk of internal discord, subversion and civil war. Either a country is united in its common culture or it becomes disunited in its multiculturalism.
It is that message that this row about cartoons ought to be driving home to everyone in the west. The absurdity which is "multiculturalism" is exactly that: "politically correct wishful thinking". While we should indeed be sensitive to other cultures, we have no obligation to be sensitive to those aspects of a culture we find to be destructive, demeaning, dehumanizing, violent or anti-liberty in nature. And we certainly have no obligation to accept as an equal any culture which has any or all of those aspects as a part of it.
Short of worldwide war, followed by occupation, there's not much the West can do about Muslim culture in Muslim lands. That's international multiculturalism, alas. But on the issue of intra-national multiculturalism, there's plenty we can do. We can monitor, we can insist upon political and cultural assimilation and we can impose strict controls on immigration and travel visas - down to zero if need be.

We might not be able to change them, but we can keep them from changing us.
Immigration isn't a right, especially to those who would wage cultural war in the west.

Hopefully, if anything comes out of the lunacy of these cartoon protests, it will be the message that "multiculturalism" is a false cultural god and we need to reject it outright. It's time we recognize, out loud, that all cultures are not equal, that some are simply bad and "cultural sensitivity" and "cultural relevance" doesn't change that.
 
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Actually, as Steyn points out in one of his columns, "Cultural relativity" REALLY means, to Western Progressives, "That all cultures are equal, except of course mine, which is INFERIOR to yours" generally because of sexism, racism and/or colonialism.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
No arguments here.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
I agree. but I’m sure the dhimmi brigade will show up shortly to tell us what racist, intolerant monsters we are...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Those of us who Germany has taken away passports to attend a Teheran research session of the law edicted by Reinhard Heidrich at the Wannsee conference know
of what they speak if they never use or mention Hebrew forged terms(two examples:[ 1.] the Walther & Herbert Bush clan attending a church or chapell always at the eve of a decapitation strike or else a bridge bombardement in Baghdad; [2.]Catholic Cross in the air Imitations: a smile to all those of us who don’t hail the Hebrew language of a Pope & Priest decoy as the shadow CINC Kerry did on all tv screens during the burrial("pompes funebres") of Roni Reagan in Washington and Arlington.
I welcome instead the "international festival of cartoons" of "Farid Mortazavi, graphics editor of Hamshahiri"(compare please: Anthony Browne, The Times, February 07 2006 ,"Cartoons""World leaders rally round as crisis deepens") which will in a nice try _d_r_a_w_ us the proof that the Western World [_ _—- actually —-_ _] _i_s__or__i_s__n_o_t_ so free as they pretend. Till today the Western world reacted with interdictions to the Reasons and Causes about the Wannsee Conference Decisions even when it is in form of a funny _Not-Hebrew_ cartoons festival in Teheran(Iran).
 
Written By: lion
URL: http://
Second pass;

While I fully agree with what you’ve posted, McQ...(And at the severe risk of derailing the comment stream)... I wonder if the depth of the implications of what you’ve said here are fully understood; Particularly, as regards the relationship of culture to rights. The situation you point to seems to me a classic example of what happens how our rights get degraded when we do not consider our own existing culture paramount.


 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
I agree. but I’m sure the dhimmi brigade will show up shortly to tell us what racist, intolerant monsters we are...
I’m not so sure about that, shark. The lefty multiculti drones are being pretty silent about this one. A few mainstream organizations are hiding behind "sensitivity to other cultures" and refuse to show the cartoons (I wonder how much of that is fear of seeing violent Islamic protestors outside their offices). Otherwise, the Islamic point of view doesn’t get much respect among the lefty blogs and other usual suspects, at least that I’ve seen.

It may be because in this case, there are such powerful counter-arguments (P*ss Christ failed to ignite riots and death threats, for example) that the left just wants this one to die down as quickly as possible.

Personally, I hope it doesn’t die down. This is a question that needs to be decided in a definite manner. Just how far will we go to appease a medieval, anti-Western culture before we defend our core values? It seems every generation must learn anew the futility of appeasement. I’d rather ours learns the lesson on something like this instead of losing a city to a nuclear weapon.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
We will have a short respite until the NYT tells the left what they think. If you want to have some fun, take a liberal to lunch and insist on discussing the Cartoon War. The panic in their eyes, the desperate attempts to change the subject, the final “I just don’t know what is to be done” is a riot. That is basically what is wrong with liberals; they don’t think. When their various beliefs come into conflict they have no way to make their own decisions. Once the NYT gets a cogent narrative together, they can follow it and begin to vocalize their “thoughts” again. Right now, before the Times tells them what they think, they haven’t a clue. Don’t believe me? Ask one.
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
Better yet, we could save liberals a lot of time (not to mention the bandwidth saved) if they just registered with the NYT and took a number. Then, on any given issue, they could simply post “Liberal 2764865”. Actually, that would be just like the present system except that the particular liberal wouldn’t get to feel the ego strokes from writing all that bilge standing up for the politically correct thing. Perhaps with a little training they could get just as much satisfaction from entering their number. Anyone actually interested in what they want to say could look up the issue in the NYT and know exactly where that liberal stands.
We pretty much have that system right now on the right. Only it’s the Constitution instead of the NYT. Well, except where liberal judges have started making things up. You know, emanations and penumbras and that stuff.
Go ahead, liberals who like to comment here. Go ahead and put yourself on record before the NYT speaks on the Cartoon Wars issue. Won’ t do it, will you? Too scared that your view won’t conflate with the NYT and your fellow liberals will shun you from the pack. Hah! What a joke you are.
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
I’m not so sure about that, shark. The lefty multiculti drones are being pretty silent about this one. A few mainstream organizations are hiding behind "sensitivity to other cultures" and refuse to show the cartoons (I wonder how much of that is fear of seeing violent Islamic protestors outside their offices). Otherwise, the Islamic point of view doesn’t get much respect among the lefty blogs and other usual suspects, at least that I’ve seen.

It may be because in this case, there are such powerful counter-arguments (P*ss Christ failed to ignite riots and death threats, for example) that the left just wants this one to die down as quickly as possible.
I don’t believe the left has been silent on this issue at all. I have read a number of posts by a number of leading "lefty" bloggers. I don’t think they are speaking with one mind on this issue.

But if there is a "lefty" perspective on this issue, it is not that "multiculturalism" is a bad thing. It is that religious fundamentalism is a bad thing. This is an issue that those on the right have been silent about. The right has attempted to label this a problem with Islam, specifically. To the contrary, the problem is deeper than that. It is a problem of religious fundamentalism generally. A religious funamendalist viewpoint tends to be inconsistent with a secular republican form of government and the right of free expression. It is really that simple. Indeed, that is a bedrock princple on which our government was founded. Why? Well, because religious fundamentalists are always right, and they tend to follow the dictates of their religion when they conflict with the dictates of the state anf with the rights of others, which of course the state exists to protect.

Let’s not forget that violence is not limited to practitioners of Islam. Take India, for example. Since independence, Hindus and Muslims have had innumerable run-ins. 85% of the vicitms in these run-ins have been Muslims. In Lebanon, for example, Christian has killed Muslim and Muslim has killed Christian.

P*ss Christ may have failed to inspire killings. But perfectly legal abortion has not. Abortion doctors have been killed by those supposedly acting in the name of Christ.

McQ sums up the right-wing perspective nicely:
But the problem is cultural relativism. And it is a one-sided and culturally destructive argument which says all cultures are equal. One should also note that the culture in question doesn’t at all have the problem of denouncing western culture as inferior. In fact, the riots we’re seeing is that culture demanding the culture which it sees as inferior obligate itself to acting in a manner consistent with their culture. As outlandish as that may seem, we have plenty of those in the west who feel that’s the proper course.


This, of course, is nothing other than a naked attempt to suggest that fundamentalist Islam is somehow different in kind than fundamentalist Christianity or Hinduism, or whatever. But it is not. At this point in history Islam may be more dangerous in its fundamentalist form than other religions, but the difference is one of degree, not kind.

And contrary to what McQ suggests, accomodating some aspects of religion is not the same thing as tolerating all aspects of that religion. The French allow the practice of Islam. But they also ban the wearing of headscarves. America tolerates the practice of Islam, but would not allow a Muslim to marry more than one wife.

The lesson to be drawn from the cartoon episode is two-fold. There is an aspect of Islam that is intolerant and should be actively opposed, not accomodated. But the second lesson is that all religions can tend toward the fundamental, and therefore all need to be checked.

If there ever was a good argument for checking religious fundamentalism in all its forms, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, it is the cartoon episode. That is the lesson to be drawn. Allow those aspects of religion that are compatible with a secular republican form of government. Actively check those that are not. That is the lesson.

Of course, wingers don’t want to acknowledge this obvious lesson. They are Christians, by and large, many fundamentalists, and therefore they don’t want to be lumped in with the fundamentalist Islamists. (Never mind the fact that millions have been killed in the name of Christ.) So - instead - they want to suggest that radical Islam is somehow different in kind from radical Christianity of the 13th Century, or radical Hinduism of the 20th. It is not. It is one in the same. All religious fundamentalists believe that their set of beliefs is superior to all others. At times, some fundamentalists get more violent than at others. But the bottom line problem is the intolerance bred by religious fundamentlism.

Indeed, look at what McQ says - he says it is a "cultural" problem. But Islam is not a culture, at least not in any meaningful sense. An anthropologist certainly would not use that term to describe Islam. Islam is a religion.

And that, I believe, explains why the left is not as vocal as the right. The left has generally been against religious fundamentalism in all its forms. So why should it get upset over one more ugly episode in human history where religious fundamentalists have shown their intolerance.

The right, by contrast, must be more vocal, because - as many of them are religious fundamentalists, they need to distinguish themselves from other religious fundamentalists. The narcissism of minor differences. So instead of calling this problem what it is - a problem with religious fundamentalism generally - they seek to define it as a problem of multiculturalism.

It’s not - and lets hope that we can all come together - left and right - and identify the problem for what it is and apply that lesson at home.

But I won’t hold my breath.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Ah....and here’s the head dhimmi. Or in this case, dimmy.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
P*ss Christ may have failed to inspire killings. But perfectly legal abortion has not
My irony meter reaches toward the stratosphere yet again.

But Islam is not a culture, at least not in any meaningful sense. An anthropologist certainly would not use that term to describe Islam. Islam is a religion.
Which is, in turn, at the very heart of the the culture at issue.
Every culture in history has had, at or near it’s heart, a religion which made up one of the foundational stones upon which that culture was based. You claim you’re interested in us all getting together to...
....identify the problem for what it is and apply that lesson at home.
And yet there you go, marching off in exactly the opposite direction... downplaying the imapct of the religion in question.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Indeed, as a postscript, look at what the Vatican had to say about the cartoon episode. The Vatican said that free speech does not include the right to offend religious sensibilities:
"The right to freedom of thought and expression ... cannot entail the right to offend the religious sentiment of believers"
If ever you wanted proof that the cartoon episode demonstrates a problem with fundamentalist religion generally, this is it. Here you have the spiritual leader of hundreds of millions of Christians - Christians - saying that publication of the cartoons was wrong because it offended Muslims.

So where is the outrage on the right over this assertion? Nowhere. One hardly heard a peep. Why? Because to do so would transform the debate as being between the west and Islam to one being between western secular republicanism and religion more generally. Of course, as I noted above, that is the true nature of the debate. But the right will never acknowledge it as such, for several reasons. Instead, they would rather inaccurately call it a problem with multiculturalism and attempt to use it as a tool against the largely secular left. If the problem is accurately cast as what it is - a battle between secular expression on the one hand, and the intolerance of religion on the other (e.g., papal dictates), it would be flagrantly absurd to suggest that the secular left and their multiculturalism is the problem.

But that’s what McQ is doing. No - I can’t believe it either.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
The Vatican said that free speech does not include the right to offend religious sensibilities. If ever you wanted proof that the cartoon episode demonstrates a problem with fundamentalist religion generally, this is it. Here you have the spiritual leader of hundreds of millions of Christians - Christians - saying that publication of the cartoons was wrong because it offended Muslims

Exactly how does that equate to being on par with riots and burning embassies?

Since the BOSTON GLOBE- hardly a religious baston- said THE EXACT SAME THING in their editorial, and since the major networks and papers are not publishing the cartoons "so as not to offend"...........how can you sit there with a straight face and say the problem is with religion?

Well, I know how YOU can, than the lord there are smarter minds out there (uh oh, I said "thank the lord, I guess I’m a religious fundy now as well, time to burn an embassy to the ground I suppose)
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I wholeheartedly agree with McQ’s essay. Multi-culturalism, which on the surface is relativism, winds up being anti-Western. To make cultures equal in our minds, you have to inflate theirs and deflate ours. In the end, it means America-bashing.

But knowing what we want to avoid doesn’t automatically lead us to an alternative. I wrote a very brief review of how the founding fathers talked about their culture and other cultures. It gives one example of a culture proud of itself—and rightfully so. Comments, of course, are always welcomed.
 
Written By: Jason Pappas
URL: http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/
The problem is fundamental islam. It isnt a particular culture. There have been riots across the globe. All by islamic fundies.

It is the notion that ’religion’ cannot be critiqued that has turned this into a travashamockery.
 
Written By: fade
URL: http://
Here you have the spiritual leader of hundreds of millions of Christians - Christians - saying that publication of the cartoons was wrong because it offended Muslims.
So where is the outrage on the right over this assertion?
Actually, the Vatican statement was even worse than that:
The Vatican suggested, however, that where free speech crosses the line and becomes offensive to a religion, national authorities "can and should" intervene.
I am a devout Catholic I will will offer my condemnation of this statement. The right to free speech should not be limited by the government because some may find it offensive.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
McQ is on to something but does not go far enough in considering that it might just be planned.
 
Written By: henry
URL: http://www.savethemales.ca
It’s simple:
1) I blame Bush
2) I blame the Religious Right-Wing Fundamentalist that elected Bush
3) I blame Amerikkka for its sexism, racism, homphobia and rapacious Capitalism that so damages the poor, women, and people of colour...
Given this, anything is OK, just remember Bush and the US are to blame.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Well folks, we have our clue. After consulting the lefty blogs, MK has discovered the gambit that the left will use to try to get their *ss out of this sling. Groupthink. “ This is not an issue of culture. It is an issue of religion. Only the right claims that it is a culture issue. They are wrong. It is an issue of religion and as we have said so many times...”.[fill in what they have said so many times.]
The liberal think tanks are busy producing reams of paper that will establish beyond all doubt that the difference between culture and religion - well it is just silly to even speak of them in the same breath. This will leave the issue out in the swamp again until reality rears its ugly head at some future point. Besides, making it an issue of fundamentalist religion gives them an opportunity to roll the righties into the same ball as the Islamists and whale on them! It’s a win-win!
Just keep saying “This is not an issue of culture – it is an issue of religion.” Look for that exact phrase in the paper of record.
When the righties disagree – hey, they are just a buch of fundies.
Same old liberal bs. Two points to MK for going on record (after verifying the party line) prior to the NYT editorial. For a liberal, that’s pretty scary.
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
An anthropologist certainly would not use that term to describe Islam. Islam is a religion.
MK is a lawyer and an anthropologist too!

As well as living proof of the jack of all trades, master of none idea.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
I think Mkultra makes some good points but is being myopic to think fundamentalism is only a characteristic of religion. It can be a characteristic of ideologies in general.

I also don’t think fundamentalism is necessarily bad as long as fundamentalists don’t try to physically harm other people or their property.

But irrational fundamentalism which leads to violence against people who have caused no harm is pervasive throughout history. Isn’t it safe to say that nearly every communist, fascist, and socialist leader we’ve seen is an irrational ideological fundamentalist? Certainly Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, etc. fit the bill.
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Speaking of religion, I won $40 in my office pool today since I guessed that the Coretta King funeral would have Bush-bashing...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
MK - the tired old "Christian killed...yada yada yada...in the name of Christ....yada yada yada".
And here’s a blatent example of how relativism comes into play. A LONG TIME AGO
Christians did unsavory things in the name of their God. They eventually grew up and stopped that crap, by and large, but A LONG TIME AGO they were guilty, and so they are STILL guilty today of course.

Islam, a LONG TIME AGO, did unsavory things in the name of their God. And gee,
surprise, THEY HAVE NOT GROWN UP and continue to do unsavory things in the the
name of the God to this day. In fact they claim their God actually MANDATES
they do unsavory things to people who don’t follow the path.


MK - you USED to go to the bathroom in your pants, do you want to be judged today on what you did a long time ago, before you, presumably, grew up?
If not, then stop trotting out the tired old horse about how people a hundred, two hundred, three hundred...etc, used to have slaves, kill non-believers, etc.

We’re in the 21st century now, you don’t get to use what we did 100 years ago
as basis for any kind of rational arguments.
P*ss Christ may have failed to inspire killings. But perfectly legal abortion has not. Abortion doctors have been killed by those supposedly acting in the name of Christ.


MK - you still haven’t explained to me exactly what it is that abortion doctors are killing...whatever it is, it’s alive and it’s being killed. So, again, what IS a human fetus really? A puppy?
And, again, when we have riots and mass lynching of abortion doctors, not a lone whacko killing them, let me know.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I think Mkultra makes some good points but is being myopic to think fundamentalism is only a characteristic of religion. It can be a characteristic of ideologies in general.
(Chuckle)

Socialism, for example.

And Looker... It strikes me as amusing that MK doesn’t see the irony in his phrasing "Perfectly legal abortion hasn’t inspired killings"....

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
In reading McQ’s post, one could only come to the conclusion that McQ thinks that one culture is better than the other. A sound argument that only gives way when trying to appease the cultural sensitivities of others not in one’s culture. And throwing political correctness to the wayside is not only healthy in some instances, but necessary in bringing the truth. My culture is better than yours beeotch.

But what struck me as odd was this,
It’s time we recognize, out loud, that all cultures are not equal, that some are simply bad and "cultural sensitivity" and "cultural relevance" doesn’t change that.
So, how does one come to the conclusion that an attempt to bring a Jeffersonian democracy to this “bad” culture is good foreign policy?

It seems clear that democracy is a culturally Western value. Democracy has been weaned, coddled, and nurtured for thousands of years by Western cultures, and it is still being refined to this day; so it puzzles me how one concludes that instilling a Western value on a “bad” culture will have favorable results.

The Western culture certainly doesn’t own democracy, and other cultures are perfectly capable of spawning democracy. But how does one reckon that implanting the Western value of democracy on a culture that clearly isn’t ready for individual freedoms will take root and flower cultural values that has taken the West centuries to cultivate?

Yeah….
Whoops.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
The Vatican said that free speech does not include the right to offend religious sensibilities. If ever you wanted proof that the cartoon episode demonstrates a problem with fundamentalist religion generally, this is it. Here you have the spiritual leader of hundreds of millions of Christians - Christians - saying that publication of the cartoons was wrong because it offended Muslims


Exactly how does that equate to being on par with riots and burning embassies?

Since the BOSTON GLOBE- hardly a religious baston- said THE EXACT SAME THING in their editorial, and since the major networks and papers are not publishing the cartoons "so as not to offend"...........how can you sit there with a straight face and say the problem is with religion?
Again - these responses must be viewed as lying along a continuim. What the Vatican said is different in degree, but not in kind, from what the radical Islamists are doing. Both are saying that there isn’t or should not be a right to publish matters that are offensive to religion. The radical Islamsits are more extreme in their protests, obviously, and are taking action, some of it non-violent, some of it violent, both respect to persons and property. The pope’s dictate is not "on par" with the protests by the radical Islamists, but they both spring from an intolerance of free expression with respect to religious issues.

The Boston Globe, on the other hand, is not saying that there isn’t or should not be a right to publish matters that are offensive to religion. They are simply declining to exercise the right. For that, perhaps the Globe should be criticized.

How can I sit here and say the problem is with religion? When the radical Islamists and the pope are on the same page with respect to whether one should have a right to publish matters offensive to religion, how can you not?
I think Mkultra makes some good points but is being myopic to think fundamentalism is only a characteristic of religion. It can be a characteristic of ideologies in general.
Of course it is not only a characteristic of religion. For instance, I have equal problems with the crackdown on free expression in Tibet by the Chinese Communists. But that is beside the point in this debate. Any ideology that believes it has a lock on the truth and that says there is no right to publish matters offensive to that ideology is a danger. It’s just that in 2006 the biggest danger seems to be coming from religious fundamentalists, as opposed to other kind of fundamentalists.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
MK - the tired old "Christian killed...yada yada yada...in the name of Christ....yada yada yada".
And here’s a blatent example of how relativism comes into play. A LONG TIME AGO
Christians did unsavory things in the name of their God. They eventually grew up and stopped that crap, by and large, but A LONG TIME AGO they were guilty, and so they are STILL guilty today of course.

Islam, a LONG TIME AGO, did unsavory things in the name of their God. And gee,
surprise, THEY HAVE NOT GROWN UP and continue to do unsavory things in the the
name of the God to this day. In fact they claim their God actually MANDATES
they do unsavory things to people who don’t follow the path.
Actually, there was a time long ago when some Muslim socities were some of the most tolerant in the world. Others were intolerant. The record is mixed.

The point is that each religion is capable of tolerance and intolerance.
MK - you still haven’t explained to me exactly what it is that abortion doctors are killing...whatever it is, it’s alive and it’s being killed. So, again, what IS a human fetus really? A puppy?
And, again, when we have riots and mass lynching of abortion doctors, not a lone whacko killing them, let me know.
A fetus is being removed from the womb. As a result, it will not develop into a being capable of living independently.

As for the numbers of whackos making a difference, well, then you agree with my premise, we are discussing differences of degree, not kind.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Mahon...Aztec Culture - human sacrifice...obviously equal to ours if we existed in the same time frame...
what was I thinking?????

MK - I’m aware they were tolerant (certainly in comparison to some of their peers at the time).
However, that does not excuse current behavior. One would have thought with all this time to progress they would have done so.
A fetus is being removed from the womb. As a result, it will not develop into a being capable of living independently
....because it can’t survive without ’life support’ it’s okay to terminate it....I see.....
Nice dodge...I gather then that a human fetus is just sort of this non- living thing that suddenly becomes alive at the instant of birth?
No, that can’t be right, it’s clearly alive....so, what then...
Things that can’t survive by themselves are what, parasites, correct?




 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
As a result, it will not develop into a being capable of living independently.
Oh? How long does it get to do that?

It’s just that in 2006 the biggest danger seems to be coming from religious fundamentalists, as opposed to other kind of fundamentalists.
Well, since you believe that it is a continuum, MK, which fundies do you think are more dangerous than the others?
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Ok MK, try this:
1. let some buddy drive you out into a cornfield and leave you there nekkid.
2. imagine that experience with a 2 year old kid.

In the case of #1, you’ll probably survive. You won’t enjoy yourself for the day or so it takes you to wrap yourself in cornstalks and explain the situation to the local cops, but you’re not going to die.

In the case of #2, the poor kid is screwed.

That was an illustration of the difference between someone who can live independently and someone who can’t.

Oh yeah, and -

MK says:
A fetus is being removed from the womb.
Saruman says:
We have only to remove those who oppose us.
 
Written By: David Ross
URL: http://pages.sbcglobal.net/zimriel/blog/zimblog.html
Sorry, McQ. I was having so much fun ridiculing liberals (my favorite topic) that I neglected to compliment you on your very thoughtful, insightful and correct post. If we don’t watch it, wishful-thinking liberal panty-waists will get us all killed. Because they grew up in the city, with no guns and childhood tales of “if you wish hard enough, it will come true” they never learned about the real world. They just don’t get that “time-outs” don’t work for grownups. An entire industry exists to prey on their stupidity, not to mention an entire class of politician. I don’t care if they have a rude awakening, I just don’t want to share in it.
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
Looker - the tired old "Christian killed...yada yada yada...in the name of Christ....yada yada yada".
And here’s a blatent example of how relativism comes into play. A LONG TIME AGO
Christians did unsavory things in the name of their God.
Your history is somewhat blinkered.

The troubles in Northern Ireland over the past 40 years are between two rival Christian factions.

Some of the fundamentalist actions within those groups were certainly unsavoury.
 
Written By: symptomless
URL: http://
Pogue,

It’s been historically shown that you can impose democracy successfully on countries with very little democratic tradition. See Japan and Germany.

Also, countries with democratic traditions can slip into non-democratic systems as well. See Chile.

Democracy is obviously the best form of government, especially if you believe in individual rights of any kind. (Which is how the modern world is taking shape.)

The argument you espouse, that some cultures aren’t ready for democracy yet, is really popular with the elites of countries like China. The theory basically gives them carte blanche to keep power.

MK Ultra,

From my one college class dealing with anthro, the bare bones definition of ’culture’ is simply ’shared understandings.’ I would argue that Islam certainly includes a whole lot of shared understandings and that with globalization and Saudi funding the Wahhabi strain is crossing borders and traditional cultures to create a homogenized Islamic culture for at least a large sub-set of muslims.

Also, I can’t understand how we should be sensitive to Islam, and yet Saudi Arabia can ban bibles. Wouldn’t that be against the tenets of multiculturalism? Or is multiculturalism only for societies that choose it? What is the USA votes in a party that opposes it? Would you then be okay with them banning Islam? If not, then you are saying there are universal values...and those should be applied to all humans, no?
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Symptomless,

Are you aware that something other than Protestant/Catholic is at work in Northern Island?

Like history and ethnicity and nationality?

There were Protestant Irish who were on the independence side in the south...
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Harun, I’m very aware of the political, cultural and national differences involved in Northern Ireland.

Just as I’m aware of the fandamentalist nature of those that carried out the attrocities. Often, on the Protestant/Unionist side, in the name of their religion.
 
Written By: symptomless
URL: http://
fandamentalist? Is that like a Trekkie?
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Northern Ireland - more economics and politics.
Religion is just much easier to blame it on than "they have more money than me".
When the Irish were one culture, one religion, they spent their time cattle raiding "they have more cattle than we do!".
"Home rule" is a hell of a lot different than "you infidel bastards drew cartoons of our prophet! DIE! DIE! DIE!".

And I think it’s a bit much to point to one small enclave of Christianity (Papist vs Protestant) in a tiny country having a long standing economic/political feud and liken that to the Middle East suddenly rioting in droves because of cartoons.

Course then again, these are the same people who take hundredes of casualties almost yearly on their pilgrimage to Mecca....
As opposed to suffering losses at Football matches on the continent like civilized societies...
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
From my one college class dealing with anthro, the bare bones definition of ’culture’ is simply ’shared understandings.’ I would argue that Islam certainly includes a whole lot of shared understandings and that with globalization and Saudi funding the Wahhabi strain is crossing borders and traditional cultures to create a homogenized Islamic culture for at least a large sub-set of muslims.
Shared understandings? Well, we all understand that gravity keeps us on this planet. We "share" that "understanding." No offense, but that is a meaningless definition.

McQ uses the term "culture," vs. the more accurate term, religion, for two reasons. 1) He sees this as some kind of weird opportunity to group Islamic fundamentalists with bra-burning feminists. and their liberal allies. He truly believes that hard core secular lefties are actively giving support to radical Islamists. Ironically, this claim - that lefties are too tolerant - is flatly contradicted by the other popular refrain from the right about the left - that they are intolerant, particularly of religion.

2) He seeks to distract from the similaritites between Christian evangelicals and Islamic fundamentalists. Given his right-ward inclination, this is understandable.

No - the cartoon issue is very simple: Do you believe in the values of a secular society, or don’t you. The GOP has spent the last 25 years railing against those values. Now, they seek to hook their wagon to those values.

Funny - but hardly surprising.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Shared understandings? Well, we all understand that gravity keeps us on this planet. We "share" that "understanding." No offense, but that is a meaningless definition.
Argumentum ad absurdum. What hogwash, mk, but then again, we don’t expect deep thinking from you. You know perfectly well what Harun meant by "shared understandings" being the bare-bones definition of a culture, and you deliberately skewed it. Funny, but hardly surprising.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
As an odd preamble, the only course where I remember getting an A+ in college was Anthro: "Cultural Relativism". (My degree is in Econ.)

The thesis of cultural relativism is that any culture is no better than any other, so long as it is suited to its adherents.

This is easy enough to discuss with Kalahari bushmen — clearly, "waiting in queues" or "obey ’no jaywalking’ signs" are completely irrelevant — but it leaves open questions regarding the intersection of cultures.

When adherents state that the culture of Kalahari bushmen is better adapted to conditions in the Kalahari than the culture of 3rd-generation Scotch-Irish immigrants is to modern American life, they might have a point — the surfeit of available calories and available alcohol has done no favors for Ted Kennedy, for instance. Of course, one has to brush aside the sorry fact that the absolute exemplar of bushmen lives only 38 perfectly-adapted years, while bloviating senators seem to go on forever, but perhaps the bushman has such grace in his span of time to make up the difference.

But, interestingly, when cultures collide, the "so long as it is suited" can start to look positively Darwinian. If a transplanted bushman in America were to find himself unexpectedly running gin and setting up his family as a political dynasty with the profits, cultural relativism would state that his culture was superior in its adaptation to its current milieu.

So bin Laden’s "strong horse" meets up with academia’s "Cultural Relativism" in a rather unexpected fashion. Those best adapted to the world today shall prevail, and show cultural superiority — especially in that the victors shall write the histories of the battles.





 
Written By: cthulhu
URL: http://
Looker, I’m not sure where you learned your version of Irish history:
When the Irish were one culture, one religion, they spent their time cattle raiding "they have more cattle than we do!".
?

Though, while you’re right that Irish Nationalism is driven by an economic and cultural struggle, the Protestant Loyalist is driven by Religious bigotry and hatred of Catholics. Hence the name ’Protestant’ - Protestation of Papal Rome. The extremist, intolerent and violent nature of which is still very evident in certain large parts of the UK today.

And if you don’t think that death threats, violence, rioting and murder happen between fellow Christians based on religious intolerance then you’ve never been in Glasgow or Belfast on the night of a Celtic v. Rangers game.

And for petty extremism I’m reminded of an occasion in mainly Protestant district of Larkhall, Scotland when the council painted the park railings and swings with dark corporate green paint to save money. Outrage and hostility ensued because green is associated with the Papish Irish.

Anyway, my point is that violent extremism isn’t confined to fundamental Muslims. Though you wouldn’t know it listening to Western media at present.
 
Written By: symptomless
URL: http://
But, interestingly, when cultures collide, the "so long as it is suited" can start to look positively Darwinian
Which is exactly why if, we as a people, want to survive as such, we’d better start holding our own culture as paramount If we do not, it will end up being swept under by those we are now being told by the relativists, are ’equal’.

And at that point, we can kiss individual rights goodbye, too.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Northern Ireland - more economics and politics.
Religion is just much easier to blame it on than "they have more money than me".
Religion is the root cause of the “troubles” in Ulster. Economics and politics are mere subsets of the religious divide. Ulster-Irish and Ulster-Scots differ economically, socially, and politically due to their religious heritage and loyalties.

With fear of going into a short history of Ireland, it must be known that the plantation of protestant Scots to Northern Ireland was a political act. The English monarchy throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries confiscated land from the Catholic Irish to install Protestant Scots to further political and religious loyalty to the Crown. The centuries of conflict thereafter is a direct result of religious differences. The political motivations of the English Crown are now merely academic.

The quasi oligarchy of Northern Ireland was kept in part by the ruling aristocracy using religious and political divisions to retain power. Power and prosperity was doled out to Protestants and subsequently, Catholics were kept out of the political process. Redistricting and other unsavory tactics were/are used to keep the religious divisions alive.

The most unfortunate consequence is that, upon first impressions, Ulster-Irish and Ulster-Scots are culturally indistinguishable, yet religious and political differences fuel hatred and intolerance.

The economic and political inferiority of the Ulster-Irish are not used to incite religious intolerance. The economic and political inferiority of the Ulster-Irish is a result of religious intolerance.
Therefore, it is not only easy to blame religion for the “troubles”; it is historically accurate to do so.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
No.

It’s clear to me you are unable to distinguish between a religion, and the mis-use of it.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Actually, I think the Vatican’s statement went something like this:
1. The right to freedom of thought and expression, sanctioned by the Declaration of the Rights of Man, cannot imply the right to offend the religious sentiment of believers. This principle applies obviously for any religion.

2. In addition, coexistence calls for a climate of mutual respect to favor peace among men and nations. Moreover, these forms of exasperated criticism or derision of others manifest a lack of human sensitivity and may constitute in some cases an inadmissible provocation. A reading of history shows that wounds that exist in the life of peoples are not cured this way.

3. However, it must be said immediately that the offenses caused by an individual or an organ of the press cannot be imputed to the public institutions of the corresponding country, whose authorities might and should intervene eventually according to the principles of national legislation. Therefore, violent actions of protest are equally deplorable. Reaction in the face of offense cannot fail the true spirit of all religion. Real or verbal intolerance, no matter where it comes from, as action or reaction, is always a serious threat to peace.
Both mkultura and JWG have taken statements out of context to make it appear that the Vatican’s stance is not what it is. The Vatican’s statement says that we don’t have an absolute right to offend the religious sensibilities of believers, that governments may impose sanctions for such behavior, and that the appropriate response is a tersely worded protest. It does not say that giving offense is always wrong, that governments should always impose sanctions, or that violent reactions are justified.
 
Written By: Morgan
URL: http://yargb.blogspot.com
Christ himself was considered to be pretty offensive, if I recall rightly....

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
If you can’t see past the use of religion as a simple means of making a distinction to the roots of economics and power behind it all then there’s not much I can say.
For every crusader headed to the Holy Land to ’free’ it, there were dozens more who were there to get their piece of the economic pie and rise to power.

Ireland was not ’united’ before Strongbow landed, it was a collection of cattle raiding petty kingdoms, which is how the ’English’ got their foot in the door in the first place.
You will also note, the Anglo-Normans set about Irish conquest and subjegation BEFORE the English monarchs ever conceived of the idea of taking England out of the Catholic fold and becoming ’Protestants’. The Irish were Christian/Catholic when Pope Adrian II ’gave’ Ireland to Henry II of England, so was the Pope, so was Henry. A Catholic monarch conquers a collection of lesser, ostensibly Catholic, monarchs.

Once established the USE of religion as a convenient economic distinction starts taking hold. It becomes the demark to reward those who supported
the ’good king’ over the ’bad king’. Protestant claimants to the throne of England over Catholic claimants to the throne of England.
And Cromwell....well, okay, one leader who probably really believed he was doing God’s work, though I hope I don’t have to deal with his version of God.
Punish those who don’t support our ’power’ and reward those who do.
Economic and Political.

It’s about power, it’s not about which version of God they worship.
For the people making the decisions at the highest levels, it hasn’t changed. The men in the street may THINK they’re fighting for God, their ’kings’ know what it’s really about. If it were about God, Islamic movements would end quickly because their leaders would martyr themselves. It’s funny how God ’wants’ men like Osama to stay on earth and continue suffering while he ’wants’ 17 year old Palestinian kids to end their lives and find paradise. Instead the Osama’s and Yasser’s live on to maintain power, and they send the guys who really THINK it’s about God to go and meet Him first hand.

Still, I suppose, perception is reality if you happen to be the guy in the street and not King Henry the Eighth.
Once again, God gets blamed for economic and political gamesmanship.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I am a devout Catholic I will will offer my condemnation of this statement. The right to free speech should not be limited by the government because some may find it offensive. Written By: JWG

Unless it badmouths Israel...
 
Written By: akshay
URL: http://

 
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